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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. March's Theme: "Pets"
Volume 4 Issue 3 ISSN# 1708-3265
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Reiki, QT, Tai Chi, Qi Kung, And Yoga For Dogs
by Martin Avery

Yoga for dogs is quite trendy, in certain circles, but what about Reiki for dogs? How about tai chi and qi kung?

Apparently, "doga" was discovered when a yoga teacher in the U.S.A. noticed her dog doing yoga with her, one morning. As she stretched, the dog stretched. Her dog mirrored her in the position of "Upward Facing Dog".

Kari Harendorf, a yoga practitioner who worked as a vet technician and a dog trainer, is usually credited for being the creator of "doga".

With her Husky, she now hosts a show on Animal Planet called K9 Karma. There are books about doggy yoga, including Bow Wow Yoga and Doga: Yoga for Dogs.

Many people who have dogs as pets have noticed their loving animal friends doing a stretch after snoozing that looks a lot like the yoga position called "Downward Facing Dog": You are on all fours, arms outstretched, legs extended, bum up, looking up at the sun in salutation.

Many dogs do this naturally, without yoga instruction.

Can dogs be taught other yoga positions? Harendorf says "Yes".

If dogs can do yoga, how about tai chi or qi kung?

I studied yoga at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, near Woodstock, New York, with Claire Diab, Founder of the American Yoga Academy. She teaches with Deepak Chopra and is the director of the Chopra Centre yoga certification programs.

Diab demonstrated the Downward Facing Dog and Upward Facing Dog position for us but she did not mention "doga". She gave us physical exercises to go with Chopra's long lectures on quantum healing.

Many Quantum Touch practitioners have reported excellent results running energy on animals, even cats and rabbits, as well as dogs.

I have a friend whose fierce dog has been turned into a very loving animal through frequent applications of Reiki and QT.

After three years of Reiki, yoga, and QT, and lots of time spent with me doing qi kung and tai chi, this dog is definitely a lot calmer and sweeter.

The dog, named Phantom, used to savage the ankles of anyone who entered "her" house. Now the border collie is so good with people, we are thinking she might have a late career in pet therapy.

One of the reasons I bonded with this dog is because she looks a lot like the dog I had when I was a kid.

Could this be reincarnation? That might explain our apparent psychic connection.

When Phantom looks at you with those big brown eyes, she looks very soulful. It is like gazing into the eyes of a person regarded as "an old soul".

The people whose ankles she has savaged cannot believe how gentle and loving the same beast can be. She seems particlulary sweet in the morning when she is looking for "sugar".

But you never know. Maybe she is just begging for breakfast in a way that is more winning than whining.

Reiki calms this dog down so she stops acting like a puppy and behaves more like a mature dog.

I have experimented with more advanced hands-on healing techniques, trying to take energy from this dog, and store it in my "dan tien", with amazing results.

You should see me run after a Frisbee, when I have some of this dog's energy. It's like that scene in the movie The Animal. In the movie, Rob Schneider plays a character named Marvin Mange, who has been stitched together like Frankenstein, using animal parts.

When someone throws a Frisbee, he races after it, leaps in the air, and catches it with his teeth.

My friend says it may not be my Reiki treatments or QT that. She believes it is all the dog treats I give her dog when I'm teaching her stupid pet tricks.

Her best trick is to balance a doggy treat on her nose and then quickly snap it out of the air. She is learning tai chi very slowly, but that's the way it is meant to be.

She has always had a lot of energy, but now she seems ecstatic, instead of evil.

However, just when we are almost convinced this animal has discovered her soul, she bites a tree, jumps into a pond and comes home covered in muck, rolls on something dead so she smells rotten, or leaps into the air and takes a low-flying crow out of the sky.

Phantom has a long way to go in terms of developing her Buddha nature, but she has come a long way already.

When a stranger comes to the door, they have to be cautioned not to make eye contact with the dog. She sees that as a threat to her territory.

In that situation, Phantom seems like an animal with a doggy brain but no soul. Or, perhaps, she has the soul of a killer in those moments.

She looks like she's smiling but she could snap in a nanosecond and bite you somewhere that will hurt for a long time. If she doesn't have the soul of a killer, she does have the personality of a sociopath. She is like the neighbour who acts nice but turns out to be a serial killer.

Do dogs have souls? What about other animals? Why does this dog like to roll around on dead things? Is it all about reincarnation and going to heaven?

Most North Americans who believe in heaven also believe their pets, especially the beloved family dog, will be there with them.

If Phantom and I died, suddenly, I'd love to be reincarnated and come back as Phantom's replacement. That dog, like many in the Western world, has a good life. My friend gives her dog a lot of loving attention.

I used to have a dog named Dido, a bichon frise that looked like a teacup poodle, and I was able to teach her how to "speak". The way that dog sang the American national anthem made me want to get her a gig on opening day for the Blue Jays or a spot on Letterman.

If Phantom learns to "speak", I imagine she will be more like Yoda. "Breakfast, I want," she will say. "Out I must go, and then come right back in again, I will desire."

When that happens, you can look for us at a yoga class, together, near you. We'll be the man and dog team doing the sun salutation. And don't worry: We won't bite.

The dog's owner isn't sure about Phantom learning how to speak. She describes Phantom as a "borderline collie". And she says Phantom is more likely to learn judo or kung fu than qi kung, tai chi, or yoga.            

Martin Avery, B.A., B.Ed., M.F.A., A.Q. Drama, CISH, Reiki Master, Quantum-Touch Practitioner, of Soul Guides & Spirit Mates. He is an author, educator, and healer. An amateur gardener and cook but a professional writer, photographer, and workshop facilitator. He's also behind The Great Canadian Winter Novel Marathon in February. Feel free to visit his website.

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